Great weather equals great RiverFest

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The perfect weather and large crowds helped make the 30th annual RiverFest a success for downtown Vicksburg and the downtown merchants.

“The merchants said they had a really good day in terms of shopping,” Vicksburg Main Street executive director Kim Hopkins said.

The clear blue skies and cooler temperatures, over the 2-day event that kicked off April 7, contributed to a large crowd on Saturday that came out to enjoy the arts and craft show, live music and sidewalk sale offered by many of the local merchants.

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The weather also contributed to a rebound in ticket sales for the headline music performances Friday and Saturday evening.

RiverFest president Christy Pecanty said between 1,700 and 1,900 tickets were sold for the Friday performances and around 3,700 were sold for Saturday. Friday night was headlined by Willie Clayton and Saturday featured Frank Foster.   

“It was a lot better, because last year the weather was terrible,” Pecanty said. “When the weather’s nice, that’s the typical attendance. We had two years there where the weather was terrible and it was cold and rained. This year, it was perfect.”

The festival underwent a few changes this year including having one stage and concentrating the event in a smaller area.

“We made it smaller to limit the walking and only put up one stage so people wouldn’t have the conflict of deciding which band to watch,” Pecanty said.

The stage this year was placed at the intersection of Washington and South streets, but Pecanty said they might look into moving the stage to the opposite end of Washington Street next year if new restaurants open as planned.

“Every year is a new year and people have new ideas,” Pecanty said.